Choosing the Best Tile For Your Shower Floor (2024 Guide) (2024)

Installing tile on your shower floor can improve your bathroom’s form and function, but not every material works well. The frequent moisture makes some tiles slippery, porous options invite mold and the wrong size or texture can feel unpleasant underfoot.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best types of shower floor tile options across a range of factors like costs,  durability, traction, maintenance, and visual appeal to help you make an informed decision.

Best Types of Shower Floor Tile 

Several varieties of tile are suitable for a shower floor. Each has its unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Stone
  • Terracotta

Ceramic tiles are a popular choice for shower floors due to their durability and wide range of styles and colors. They are made from clay and fired at high temperatures to create a hard, durable surface. Ceramic tiles are relatively easy to install and maintain, making them a practical choice for many homeowners.

Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic tile that is fired at higher temperatures, making them denser and more durable than regular ceramic tiles. They are highly resistant to wear and tend to last better over the years. Porcelain tiles are an excellent choice for shower floors as they stand up well to stains, moisture, cracking, and scratches.

Stone tiles, such as slate, marble, limestone, and granite, add a touch of natural beauty and luxury to your shower. They are well-suited for wet areas and have a natural rustic appeal. However, stone tiles require sealing during installation and regular resealing to avoid stains.

Terracotta tiles are made from natural clay and have a warm, earthy appearance. They are less durable than ceramic or porcelain tiles but can add a unique, rustic charm to your shower.

Pros & Cons

Each type of tile has its unique advantages and disadvantages.

Below is a comparison of the main advantages and disadvantages of different types of tile:

Type of Tile Advantages Disadvantages
Ceramic Durable, wide range of styles and colors, easy to install and maintain Can be slippery when wet, grout can be difficult to clean
Porcelain Highly durable, resistant to stains, moisture, cracking, and scratches More expensive than other types of tiles, can be difficult to install
Stone – Granite Durable, unique patterns and colors Requires sealing during installation and regular resealing, can be expensive
Stone – Limestone Natural beauty and rustic appeal Requires sealing during installation and regular resealing, can be expensive
Stone – Marble Adds a touch of luxury, unique patterns and veining Requires sealing during installation and regular resealing, can be expensive
Stone – Slate Natural rustic appeal, well-suited for wet areas Requires sealing during installation and regular resealing, can be more expensive than other types of tiles
Terracotta Warm, earthy appearance Less durable than other types of tiles, can fade over time

Your choice of tile pattern will likely depend on other factors, such as the style, color, and overall design of your bathroom. You may even choose to blend your shower with the rest of your bathroom flooring.

At the time of writing, the most popular shower tile patterns include:

  • Large Format: Large format tiles can make a small shower feel more spacious. They also reduce the number of grout lines, which can make the shower easier to clean.
  • Mosaic: Mosaic tiles offer endless possibilities of designs and provide an opportunity to create a unique, personalized shower floor. The hard surface of mosaic tiles promotes friction and offers better grip, reducing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Patterned: Patterned tiles can add a unique and sophisticated look to the bathroom floor, creating a spa-like feel. They can be neutral or colorful, depending on your personal style.
  • Pebble: Pebble tiles can create a natural, spa-like feel in the shower. They also offer excellent slip resistance, making them a safe choice for shower floors.
  • Subway: Subway tiles are a classic choice that never goes out of style. They can be arranged in various patterns, such as herringbone or staggered, to add visual interest to the shower floor.

Comparing Tile Costs

Tile floor costs can vary significantly depending on the type of tile, the complexity of the installation, and whether you choose to hire a tiling contractor or do the job yourself.

Here is a comparison of the cost per square foot for different types of tiles:

Type of Tile Cost per Square Foot
Ceramic $0.50–$120
Porcelain $15–$47
Slate $13–$16
Marble $18–$65
Limestone $23–$60
Granite $10–$65
Terracotta $10–$100
Stone $26–$37

Note that these costs include both the cost of the tiles and the cost of installation. The actual cost can vary depending on your location, the complexity of the installation, and the specific type and brand of tile you choose.

So, Is Shower Floor Tile Worth It?

Shower floor tile is definitely worth considering for several reasons. First, it adds a touch of style and elegance to your bathroom. With a wide range of materials, colors, and designs available, you can create a look that complements your design scheme.

Second, shower floor tiles are durable and long-lasting. When properly installed and maintained, they can withstand the wear and tear of daily use and retain their beauty for many years.

Finally, shower floor tiles are relatively easy to clean and maintain. You can quickly clean most tiles with a mild detergent and a soft cloth or sponge.

However, it’s important to note that not all types of tiles are suitable for shower floors. Some types of tiles can be slippery when wet, making them a safety hazard. Others may require regular sealing to prevent water damage. Therefore, it’s important to choose a type of tile that provides traction in wet areas and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance.

Ultimately, selecting the tile for your shower floor involves considering a variety of factors, including the type of tile, cost, durability, and maintenance requirements. By taking the time to research and compare different options, you can find the perfect tile for your shower floor that meets your needs and budget.

FAQs About Shower Floor Tile

What is the best tile material for a shower floor?

Porcelain tile is often considered the best material for a shower floor due to its durability, water resistance, and lack of pores, which prevents the buildup of mildew and soap scum.

What kind of tile is best for a walk-in shower floor?

The best tile for a walk-in shower floor depends on your personal preferences and needs. However, stone and porcelain tiles are often recommended due to their durability and natural texture, which provides good traction.

What tiles do not work well on a shower floor?

Avoid glazed ceramic tiles when picking shower flooring, as they can be slippery when wet. Instead, opt for tiles with a textured surface or small tiles, which provide more grip.

What kind of grout is best for shower flooring?

Epoxy grout provides the most impenetrable moisture seal for tile flooring. Applying a penetrating sealer to porous tiles boosts water resistance dramatically but requires yearly reapplication.

Are small or larger tiles better for a shower floor?

Smaller tiles or mosaic sheets provide more grout line traction in showers. However, larger tiles feel better underfoot and simplify cleaning with fewer total joints to maintain. Balance aesthetics, safety, comfort, and upkeep based on specific shower usage and conditions.

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